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Norfolk teenage football sensation signs for Manchester City

PUBLISHED: 14:54 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:36 10 June 2018

Lauren Hemp's parents, Julie and Kevin, and her sister Amy, in Lauren's bedroom looking through the family photo album. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lauren Hemp's parents, Julie and Kevin, and her sister Amy, in Lauren's bedroom looking through the family photo album. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

As young girls Amy and Lauren Hemp loved a casual game of football in their back garden in North Walsham.

Lauren Hemp aims to make her mark at Manchester City Picture: Tom Flathers/Manchester CityLauren Hemp aims to make her mark at Manchester City Picture: Tom Flathers/Manchester City

Amy, now 20, blazed the trail with her younger sister, 17, tagging along to training to keep her company.

Amy quit after twice suffering cruciate ligament damage, but Lauren, who used to play for Norwich City Ladies, made stunning progress and has just signed for Manchester City Women’s FC.

Julie Hemp, the girls’ mother, said her dream had been for both to play football for England. That dream has been put on hold by Amy’s injuries.

But her younger daughter is already an England youth international, and the reigning PFA young-female-player-of-the-year has joined one of the biggest clubs in Europe after a breakthrough campaign at Bristol City.

Former North Walsham High School pupil Lauren Hemp has signed for Manchester City Women. Picture: Tom Flathers/Manchester CityFormer North Walsham High School pupil Lauren Hemp has signed for Manchester City Women. Picture: Tom Flathers/Manchester City

Lauren said to play for Man City was a “dream come true”.

“I’d like to improve my overall game. I’d also like to become more mature as a player,” she said.

“I’m willing to put the hard work in and try my best every single day to become a better player and reach my potential. I’m hard-working, driven and passionate.”

The 17-year-old started her career in North Walsham and her parents Kevin and Julie, neither of whom was particularly talented at sport, and sister Amy are incredibly proud of her.

Mr Hemp, 49, said: “I’ve no doubt that she will play for the England senior team someday, and she will be a world-class player in the future.”

His wife, 47, added: “We are so proud of our daughters. Lauren for getting in the England youth team and Amy for what she has done at uni, studying to become a PE teacher. Neither Kevin nor I went to uni.”

Lauren captained the England Under-17s at the Euros in 2017 and she is currently part of the England U19 set-up.

The women’s World Cup is in August and she’s hoping to make the 23-woman squad for France.

Both girls were born at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and grew up in North Walsham.

Both went to Millfield Primary and then North Walsham High School.

Mr Hemp, an after sales service manager for an agricultural firm, said both girls played with boys’ teams, and at the Centre of Excellence at Norwich City, before it closed down. Girls were allowed to play with boys up until 13.

Lauren followed her sister’s career trajectory and then joined Bristol in the WSL, Women’s Super League, shortly after her 16th birthday.

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